OTTUMWA — On Monday night, the Ottumwa girls soccer team had a three-game winning streak snapped at No. 7 Waukee.
On Thursday, the Bulldogs kicked off CIML Metro Conference play by possibly kicking off a new winning streak. Goals by Shayla Robinson and Daylin Latham proved to be enough to hold off Des Moines North as the Bulldog defense stepped up at key moments to preserve a 2-1 win at Walsh Soccer Complex.
“They had some good runs, but anytime they got close to the goal our girls were right there to take the ball away,” Ottumwa first-year head girls soccer coach Lindsey Safranek said. “Each time they needed to, our defense stepped up. The girls did a great job talking to each and watching their marks to keep (North) from getting too many good looks.”
Robinson put the Bulldogs up early, scoring off a pass from Kathy Lopez in the 11th minute for the only goal of the opening half. Midway through the second half, Latham took a pass from Ginni Kjer and scored in the 64th minute to seemingly give Ottumwa control.
North, however, quickly got back within a goal as Ariana Mero broke away and beat Averi Cash for a goal just three minutes later. The Polar Bears wouldn’t get another shot on goal and drew a yellow card in an intense finish to the contest that was a great bounce-back for Ottumwa after 12-0 loss to Waukee in just 40 minutes of play.
“This feels a lot better then Waukee,” Safranek said. “It was a different level of opponent on Monday. To come out and beat a team more at our level made this a good night.”
The Bulldogs (4-3, 1-0) are in for a busy week of action. After opening the week on Monday with road tests on consecutive nights at Southeast Polk and Keokuk, Ottumwa is back home for another CIML Metro clash against Des Moines Roosevelt next Thursday.
“These were close games last year,” Safranek said. “We’re going to be exhausted, but the girls have got to be ready to do a lot next week.”
OTTUMWA 2, DES MOINES NORTH 1
D.M. North 0 1 — 1
Ottumwa 1 1 — 2
Ottumwa — Shayla Robinson goal (Kathy Lopez assist), 11:00.
Ottumwa — Daylin Latham goal (Ginni Kjer assist), 64:00.
Des Moines North — Ariana Mero goal, 67:00.
North: Total Shots — 3 (Alexis Kuehl, Menimah Karmerz, Mero). Total Saves — 10 (Victoria Baker 10). Total Fouls — 6 (Yellow card - Diana Rodriguez).
Ottumwa: Total Shots — 19 (Robinson 8). Total Saves — 2 (Averi Cash 2). Total Fouls — 3.